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Development for Species: Animals in society, animals as society

Call for Abstracts

The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, and the ‘Sociology & Animals’ Thematic Group of TASA

are proud to co-host a two-day symposium

Development for Species: Animals in society, animals as society

Deakin University, Melbourne City campus, September 18-19, 2017

Abstract deadline: June 30, 2017.

Nonhuman animals are typically marginalised by the anthropocentric focus of traditional scholarship in both development and sociology. As social scientists increasingly recognise nonhuman animals as critical members of society who co-produce ‘the social’ along with other animals, we are presented with the opportunity to consider nonhuman animals as more than passive companions, commodities or environmental resources. The Development for Species symposium aims to bring together scholars conducting research about, for, and/or with nonhuman animals.

We are interested in what provocations and implications the framing of animals as ‘social’ can open for development discourse and practices. Hitherto, development has been complicit in invisibilising sentient nonhuman animals in the name of development, and in the violent objectification of animals, especially those designated as ‘food’. In the Anthropocene, the geologic age where humans are believed to be significantly responsible for climate change, species destruction, and the sixth mass extinction, there is urgent need to understand ecological and social realities beyond only human worlds (Rose 2009). It is increasingly important to plan for species – including the humans as species (Blue 2015). However, in addition to the overwhelming concerns for planetary environmental sustainability, there are increasingly reasons to be cognisant of the violent impacts of development on the animals.

The symposium aims to introduce nonhuman species, particularly farmed animals, into the development discourse as stakeholders, and critical members of societies, rather than their current status as environmental/economic commodities in development. With the rise of human-animal scholarship, development scholars are increasingly recognising the importance of including non-human animals in our academic endeavours, and the urgency of studying animals as actors, as well as subjects of marginalisation in societies. Together with the mounting evidence that directly link animal agriculture to planetary catastrophes like climatic change, the impetus to examine the role of animals in our shared species ecological and social worlds is of growing urgency.

We seek abstracts in the areas including but not limited to:

  • Urban/rural sociologies and animals
  • Religion, culture and animals
  • ‘Food’ and sociology of farmed/production animals
  • Sociology of relationships and animals
  • Sexual Politics of Meat – gendered violence in animal farming
  • Companion Animals and society
  • Poverty and animal rights
  • Democracy and nonhuman animals
  • Activism and animals
  • Developing species inclusive spaces
  • Challenging anthropocentrism in research

Presentations are to be 20mins in duration. Please send your 200-300 word abstracts to both zoei.sutton@flinders.edu.au & y.narayanan@deakin.edu.au by June 30th 2017.

A special issue of a leading journal like Society and Animals, or Journal of Development Studies is planned for the symposium.

Postgraduate scholarship: With the support of TASA, the Sociology & Animals Thematic Group will be offering 3 postgraduate scholarships valued at $150 each. Potential scholarship winners will need to be registered TASA postgraduate members & located outside of Melbourne. If you wish to be considered for a postgraduate scholarship please indicate this in the same email as your abstract submission.